Torchlight procession through Stornoway to remember the Iolaire

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In remembrance of those who were lost on board HMY Iolaire on January 1st 1919 the streets of Stornoway filled this evening to watch the torchlight procession led by the Lewis Pipe Band, which left from Stornoway Town Hall at 8.30pm to parade up to the Lewis Sports Centre ahead of the event ‘A Community Remembers’.

The procession had 201 torches to represent the 201 lives that were lost in the tragedy.

Tomorrow (New Year’s Day) at midday there will be a special memorial service at the Iolaire memorial at Holm.

To coincide with the beginning of the service the MV Loch Seaforth will sail out into the bay at 11.15am and 201 pupils from across the islands will throw flowers into the sea to represent the lost men.

HRH The Prince Charles, Lord of the Isles; First Minister Nicola Sturgeon; Scotland’s most senior Naval Officer Rear Admiral John Weale and the Convener of Western Isles Council, Norman A Macdonald, will attend the service and each will lay a wreath at the Holm memorial.

The Service will be conducted by The Very Revd Dr Angus Morrison.

At the end of the Service HRH The Lord of the Isles will unveil a new sculpture to commemorate the Iolaire.